Silent Night Blu-ray Review
It’s that time of year again, when kids and adults alike start to mentally figure out whether they’ve been nice or naughty for the past twelve months. If you’ve been nice, you might get that new fire truck toy or a top-of-the-line grill or a new mistress. If you’ve been naughty, well…you might get tied up, tortured and electrocuted. That’s what happens, at least, in Steven C. Miller’s (THE AGGRESION SCALE) SILENT NIGHT.
It’s nearing December 25th and there’s a killer loose in the small, quiet Wisconsin town of Cryer, which is preparing to hold its annual festivities. On the case is cute young deputy and recent widow Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King, co-star of both the 3D update of the slasher classic MY BLOODY VALENTINE and the 2010 remake of Charles Kaufman’s MOTHER’S DAY), who takes the assignment from her superior, Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell, giving far less of an effort here than in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, where he played Sam Loomis). The main suspect, it turns out, is one of the local for-hire Santas, Jim Epstein (Donal Logue, best known for TV’s GROUNDED FOR LIFE), who doesn’t think the town’s most sinful residents are worthy of mom’s Christmas ham.
SILENT NIGHT is one of the most recent in a long line of Santa Claus-as-psychopath movies. Predecessors include 1980’s CHRISTMAS EVIL (with Jeffrey DeMunn leading the spree) and 1984’s SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, which SILENT NIGHT is a loose remake of and itself spawned four sequels. Production values on SILENT NIGHT are much slicker than its ‘80s inspiration, but the presentation and approach are just as cheap as the popular video nasty.
Gratuitous dead and half-naked bodies (the lives of the victims and the full details of Cryer’s low-budget porn industry aren’t exactly elaborated on, but then why would they be?) turn up when they’re most desired—that is, when the dialogue and character development starts to get in the way. There’s really nothing here that fans of the seasonal subgenre haven’t seen before. Yet, how could they be disappointed when highlights include a tween girl taking a cattle prod at her front door, a porn “star” getting tossed into a wood chipper and a perverted priest finding a sharp blade to the stomach to top off his final sermon?
SILENT NIGHT is exactly what fans would want in such a movie. Miller and screenwriter Jayson Rothwell (MALICE IN WONDERLAND) seem to know that and, as a result, their movie doesn’t strive to stand out from the rest. It just wants to make the point that, as one character puts it, “Christmas Eve is the scariest damn night of the year.”
SILENT NIGHT isn’t what most will be watching on TV in the coming weeks. But then, there are some that would rather see The Grinch’s heart ripped from his chest than it grow three sizes.
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Unlike the video nasty SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (which has yet to make its way to Blu-ray), 2012’s SILENT NIGHT has strong production values and so has a much cleaner look. That all shows up on this high-definition transfer, which presents great detail in skin tones and locations, as well as in both daytime and nighttime sequences.
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. This transfer finds a nice balance between the straightforward dialogue delivery and the murders, which offer realistic sound effects of guns, flamethrowers and wood chippers.
Behind the Scenes (6:14) offers on-set footage to show viewers what the production was like.
Deleted Scenes (4:55): There are four here, all with Jaime King and none with additional gore.